Smith and Jackson Grill the Competition as Dad Vibes and Fireworks Highlight Round 5 of the Cook Out Summer Shootout
Drivers and dads were ready to rock and roll as they put on a show on the legendary quarter-mile in Round 5 of the Cook Out Summer Shootout at America’s Home for Racing presented by Pro-FABrication. Jack Smith (Bandits) and Jackson Denton (Young Lions) were among the drivers claiming victories on Dad Vibes Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Gerald White III (Beginner Bandits), Alison Johnson (Bojangles Outlaws), Lucas Vera (VP Racing Fuel Semi-Pro), Mark Green (Masters) and Alex McCollum (Boston Reid & Co Pro) also captured checkered flags on a night featuring cargo shorts, fanny packs and too many Dad Jokes to mention amongst a tremendous field of 169 total entries across seven divisions.
In a classic example of ‘it’s not where you start but where you finish’, Jack Smith parlayed a sixth-place start into a feature victory in the Bandolero Bandits division for racers ages seven to 11. Smith laid back while other drivers took typical Dad advice of ‘the early bird gets the worm’ a little too seriously.
Laquan McCoy started on the pole and led the first seven laps before cautions reshuffled the field, opening the door for Bryson Nichols to take his turn at the top spot.
Smith and Nichols tangled for No. 1 until Lap 16 when Dad's advice of ‘take the high road’ finally paid off for Smith with a move for the lead that even he couldn’t describe.
“I don’t really know!” Smith said” All I know is that when we went in the three I was probably going to lose it. I was just hoping I could hang on and then we ended up doing it.”
Smith smoothly held off McCoy on the final three laps for his first Cook Out Summer Shootout feature victory.
The Young Lions roared as Jackson Denton and Keelan Harvick made their marks at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Legends Car division for drivers ages 10 to 15.
Denton used a predator’s mentality and moved stealthily through the competition to clinch his first victory. The Florida-native went from sixth to first over the course of the race, with the key move taking place in Turn 3 on Lap 10 when Denton dove inside of Hunter Jordan for the lead. He stayed on the point until lap 15 when officials called ‘curfew’ due to time constraints and declared Denton the winner.
“It’s really intense. Whenever you’re leading, a lot of good drivers try to get your bumper, but we won again,” Denton said on the victory stage.
Harvick made his Legends Car Cook Out Summer Shootout debut, becoming yet another next-generation driver with a NASCAR Dad to compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His father, NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick, has completed 41 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning two Coca-Cola 600s and one Bank of America 500. The younger Harvick followed in Dad’s tire tracks with a strong performance, moving from a 15th-place start to a sixth-place finish.
The Cook Out Summer Shootout hits the track for Round 6 as dazzling fireworks will again light the sky. Fans are invited to show their Red, White and Brews pride to bring home the Fourth of July holiday. In celebration of America’s heroes, military personnel and first responders will receive FREE entry with a valid ID.
TICKETS: Adult tickets are just $10; kids 12 and under get in FREE. For tickets, schedules and more details about all the happenings at Charlotte Motor Speedway, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets.
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